Around Here Week Thirty-Two: 08/04-08/10

Friday, August 11, 2017

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this minute.

Intentional Hours Outdoors: 407+ hours (of 1000)
I totally geeked out this week on my dog walks and how beautiful the corn field looked in the golden hour may have seen on my insta stories totally dedicated to Mother Earth, hah. We had a perfect day at the 'beach' at Quemahoming with the Stiffler crew and Grey naturally wanted to fish the entire time while the rest of us waded in the water and the kids went to town on a mountain of a new sand pile! B and the kids had a couple trips into the woods to check trail cams while I logged some yard laps jogging and listening to the Showtime Spanish podcast (so fun!)

Reading Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld and starting Emma by Jane Austen for my local book club group!

Getting in a ton of cousin time with playdates and special outings.  The smallest two Garretsons and Caleb spent Saturday morning at our house.  It felt so much like autumn outside that Grey secretly snatched the spray paint out of the garage and painted a kid-sized football field in our yard for all the cousins. Then Grey was invited with Caleb (thank you Heather and Albert!) to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers practice and have a sleepover! And later this week, cousin Ariel came over to babysit for an afternoon!

Snuggling up and loving on sweet baby Tessa who had a sleepover with Uncle Jonny at our house last weekend.  Gemma was in her full on momma-glory mode and wanted to do every single thing to care for Tessa.  The two of them even got cozy enough and took a little snooze together on the couch for awhile. Rusty loved petting Tessa's head while saying "ooooooh" and Tess had a ton of visitors and got royally spoiled with hugs and kisses.  Thank you Ninna for letting her sleep over! She was well (over?) loved for sure!

Volunteering at vacation bible school all week and smiling about how much fun Gemma and Violet are having attending.  The tweens and teens who are also volunteering inspire me and make me proud of the decent and patient young people that are growing up right now.  Miss Hannah and Miss Becca (hi!) are the total best and have been so willing and enthusiastic about following Violet (and even Rusty last night!) around to keep them happy and safe each night (thank you girls!! xxox)

Doing something 'small but productive' towards our life that currently feels in total shambles #endofsummerprobs It's been summer loving so full tilt that everything, everywhere is out of sorts. Instead of letting the overwhelming sense of panic wash over me, I've been repeating to myself, "Do something small but productive" when I look around and get that terrible feeling of defeat (and also when I feel like I'm scrolling too much). So I deep-cleaned one whole side of the kitchen (yep, just half was all I could get in a day!) and I moved a bunch of 'donation pile' stuff to the garage, and I finally ordered an external hard drive for the laptop so it would stop warning me about storage, and I uploaded four months worth of phone pictures to Shutterfly.  Such a random assortment of tasks, but all of which were weighing on me.

Getting the official call that I was hired as the new Spanish teacher at a local school and feeling so excited, inspired, and energized about starting the new school year.  There are still a lot of adjustments that we need to figure out for our whole family (some we don't even know exist yet, no doubt) but Brandon has been so supportive and excited about the new changes too that I can't help but push those worries to the back of my mind and dive full in with his support.  Thank you so so much to all of you who have sent your congratulations and good lucks my way! I had a chance to visit my classroom and meet my across the hall neighbor (hi Allison!) and start to envision my days back in the classroom.  My brain is whizzing and swirling about a million miles an hour (on top of my already constant's a wild place inside this head these days!) and it is exhilarating and only a teeny bit overwhelming (the good kind).  Our school business manager asked me out to lunch while I was on campus this week (LOL.  I fear co-worker jokes will never get case you're confused, Brandon is the school business manager, hah!). Bring on the new school year!

Digging in as Rusty goes full blown toddler-boy-destruction-mode.  It is near impossible to do anything of value while he's awake because left to his own devices for thirty seconds he can flip a room upside down and shake the contents out.  His favorite activity is to pull himself up onto a kitchen chair then pull himself up on the kitchen table and then march and laugh a mere three feet off the tile floor...that's not a panic attack every.single.time. His least favorite activity is being restrained in car seats, or his dinner chair, or being held too long.  #sendhelp

Convinced that Brandon and I are so sleep deprived now after parenting for seven years that we won't ever make it up.  We have said four nights in a row that we were going to stay up (and by sta up I mean past 9:30p)  and watch (the DVR'ed) Unabomber series on Discovery Channel and have been completely unsuccessful every night.  I even fell asleep while showing Brandon a video clip on my phone and dropped my phone down between the bed and the wall (how?) when I dozed off for that split second. We are just so hilariously lame.

Making grilled honey garlic pork chops, and slow cooker French Dip Beef Au Jus sandwiches (so, so yum).  We also had slow cooker potato soup; a double batch because I forgot we had a whole 5lb bag of potatoes that needed to be used or trashed - so yay for a frozen meal ready for back to school time.  For breakfast I made the ever-favorite banana, blueberry muffins. Big thanks to Heather for providing me with the bananas for the muffins and dinner one night this week - Pierogie & Kielbasa casserole!  We've been blessed with an abundance of zucchini and summer squash this season from one of Brandon's co-workers (hi Cecelia, thank you!) and so I spent awhile on Saturday morning whipping up some Lemon Poppyseed Summer Squash quick bread and these summer squash muffins.  Then I polished off the rest we had by shredding and freezing some for the long winter months.


  1. Good luck with work. It will be an adjustment but it will work out. I too hwcone overwhelmed by how quickly I become overwhelmed by what a wreck my home can become. I do "10 at a time". I am a little ice, not in a debilitating way, bu counting things and lists help me mentally that I am making improvement even f it is had to see. Good luck.

  2. Congratulations on the new job!!! What an exciting time for you and your family!